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HOWTO
// Ven 2 Juin - 22:32
org: www
Okay so I know that a lot of people have difficulties when starting a new language on your own and have trouble at how to proceed, especially when there’s no Duolingo to guide you, so I will tell you how I personally* begin and study my languages.

*this how I personally study languages. This is what I found most comfortable doing. It’s best if you find your own way of learning but I’m happy if I can give you tips on what you can do to help you guys.

How I take notes and write everything down

A lot of people prefer to get notebooks or journals and write whatever they learn down. Now, I do that for the purpose of memory (because writing things down will help you remember them more), but I write and make all of my language notes on my phone. I use my notes app on my iPhone and construct my little language course on it. For me this is helpful because I can revise/check something at any time because my phone is always with me and I found that this is the best way I study languages. I’ll show you an example:
image


as you can see this is my Polish folder where I have different notes on different themes. I categorize vocab notes by themes and verb notes by number so that I won’t have an excessive amount of verbs in one note. But obviously you can do whatever you like!

Where I start

Obviously after having learned the alphabet and how pronunciation works I always start with greetings and introductions. Learning simple words and beginner expressions is always helpful and will give you a feel of the language itself. Usually I learn the following:

  • yes and no

  • hello, good morning, goodbye, welcome etc.

  • please, thank you, excuse me, sorry

  • nice to meet you

  • what’s your name? how are you? where are you from? how old are you? and their replies.

Try not to worry and get in detail of how some words, verbs are formed. Just try to memorize the phrases for now and they’ll make sense eventually.

After that I learn the basics. What are the basics? For me that’s grammar. I start with learning the Personal Pronouns in Subject Form and the To Be verb and how they interact together. Learn also how to negate sentences by learning any negation grammar and how so say, for example, I am not.

Next step ultimately depends on what kind of language you’re learning. If you’re learning a language that uses articles such as indefinite or definite than learn how to use them and the grammar (if any) behind them. Also if your target language has some kind of feature that is important to your grammar, like for example Vowel Harmony or Consonant Mutation or how to tell which type of gender nouns are and then try to learn how those work. I know that to some people grammar is very boring but I try to get the basics out of the way from the beginning so I don’t have to worry about it later.

I proceed on learning the Object Form of the Personal Pronouns and then also the Possessive forms such as my, your, his, her etc. Again, it depends on the language, so if there are other forms of these pronouns I try to get them out of the way as well. After that, I tackle Interrogative Pronouns which usually consist of:

  • who? what? where? why? when? how? which? whose? (how much? from where? what kind of? whom)  + any forms that might change depending on language

and after those, I learn how to use the Demonstrative Pronouns which are:

  • this, that, these, those + any forms that might change depending on language

For some reason I enjoy learning numbers so those are usually next for me. Okay so now that the most important parts are learned and finished I begin to build up my vocabulary. I usually start with the simple nouns that Duolingo starts you off with like:

  • man, woman, boy, girl, child, water, apple, milk, bread etc. + plural forms

And also the most important verbs for beginners:

  • to want, to have, to do, to go, to know, to see, to speak, to eat, to drink, to write, to hear, to read, to like, to love, to think, to need, to sleep, to cook, to buy, to come, can, must, will etc.

For me I prefer if I learn how to use verbs in all tenses or moods (if any) from the beginning. This way I get familiar with the grammar of verbs and I would be able to convey past, present, future or others early on in my studies. I list down all possibly conjugations in my notes and also imperative form (commands)

So by the time I finish these I already can say a few simple sentences or hold a very basic conversation with someone. From now on I continue learning other vocabulary by themes such:

  • dates & time

  • family & relatives

  • clothes

  • animals

  • food

  • body parts

  • occupations
       etc.

After these or during some of these I start learning how to work case declension out (if any), adjectives + Comparative & Superlative, adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions, and any other aspects that will solidify your sentences.

Okay so this is roughly how I personally study languages, I’m sorry for the long ass post and I hope I could be helpful to someone who’s struggling to know where to begin in learning a language by yourself. Good luck!

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